Online trade in protected species needs be combatted more effectively. Authorities, the IFAW and online platforms want to strengthen their cooperation in this area. Today, at a workshop in Bonn, they will discuss new forms of cooperation and possible measures for regulating and controlling illegal online trade in protected species.
Illegal online trade in protected plant and animal species is growing rapidly worldwide. Even in Germany, protected species and even those in danger of extinction are increasingly being traded online. This simple form of illegal trade poses a problem for species protection due to the dramatically increasing illegal poaching of elephants in Africa. Along with elephant ivory, many protected species, particularly exotic reptiles, amphibians, birds, live coral and also parts and products from protected species such as furniture, musical instruments, leather products, ivory carvings, fur products and stuffed animals are being traded both legally and illegally on German platforms.
Platform operators, authorities and the IFAW have been trying to combat illegal trade in protected species for a long time. Today's workshop will mark the start of a strengthened cooperation. Topics to be discussed include whether platform operators can control this illegal trade by using pop-up windows or filters to stop offers with protected species or their products being shown and also to what extent authorities and associations can actively support this cause.
Criminal prosecution of illegal online trade in species has often proven extremely difficult. Therefore, it is important to raise awareness of the fact that online purchases are also subject to the relevant legal provisions and that buyers also hold particular responsibility.
Close and swift cooperation between the competent authorities, associations and operators of the trading platforms affected is required for successful and effective criminal prosecution. This has worked well in the past and should now be further improved upon.